Objective: Balloon-assisted technique is a promising technical adjunct to use of Guglielmi detachable coils for embolization of wide-necked aneurysms. In this study using experimental aneurysms in swine, the safety and long-term efficacy of this technique were evaluated.
Methods: Sixteen wide-necked aneurysms (sidewall model) were surgically created in common carotid arteries of swine. In the acute study of eight aneurysms, intra-aneurysmal pressure changes were recorded during balloon inflation in different positions of the balloon relative to the neck of the aneurysm. In the chronic study, eight aneurysms were treated with this technique, and follow-up angiography was performed 14 days postembolization. The animals were then killed for macroscopic evaluation.
Results: In the acute study, the systolic intra-aneurysmal blood pressure increased with balloon inflation at the distal portion of the neck and with balloon inflation/occlusion across the entire neck of the aneurysm. In the chronic study, seven of eight cases were embolized with satisfactory occlusion, and six showed no coil displacement on the follow-up angiogram. In five cases, macroscopic evaluation of the aneurysm showed that the coils were compacted at the neck of the aneurysm with a concave shape consistent with the shape of the inflated balloon across its neck.
Conclusion: This preliminary study indicates that balloon-assisted Guglielmi detachable coiling technology may produce a temporary increase of pressure within the aneurysm while occluding the aneurysmal neck during coil delivery. This sudden change of intra-aneurysmal pressure may potentially be the cause-of aneurysm rupture in the clinical setting. The balloon must be inflated and deflated very slowly to minimize these potentially risky hemodynamic changes. Although angiographic follow-up showed successful obliteration of aneurysms, further long-term angiographic studies are necessary to establish the durability of this technique.